Is it Money Time?
I have numerous accounts in many services across the web and my inbox is usually flooded with periodical newsletters and promotions, sent to me by those services. I am not complaining — not at all. Whenever I sign up for a service that offers to keep me notified by mail, I gladly accept the invitation (unless it’s a Microsoft service). The reason I do it is somewhat educational. I like to be exposed to the way those services communicate their messages and brands, follow their styles and realize their marketing characteristic out of their communication strategy.
I rarely pay much attention to the actual content of those communications. As for information regarding those services it is usually wiser to get it from unbiased 3rd parties that cover those services. I do want to hear the bad news as well.
However, sometimes the content is very meaningful. Especially when a very similar messages arrives in from two completely different services. Good old email proved yesterday it can still deliver the news.
First it was Weebly to send me an email, notifying proudly in it’s title about “Over one million weebly users”. After a few lines the number becomes more clear when they say “Weebly just crossed 1,500,000 registered users.” but the true scoop is soon to arrive when they say that “To celebrate, we’re throwing a Beat the Recession sale! The cost to upgrade to our pro service has been cut by 25%”. Nice discount… but wait! Did they say “pro service”? Which “pro service”? I didn’t know Weebly had a pro-service. Was there?
Either I never saw it, or didn’t look for it, and perhaps Weebly never tried to push it too hard. Moreover, clicking the link to their pro service lands you on a support page describing the offering. That doesn’t sounds like a solid page in the site, something that strengthen my feeling that this offering is actually completely new.
What they actually offer are a bunch of added values such as password-protected pages, customizable footer, multiple sites per account, extra storage space, embeddable audio player and premium support. All at $3.99 per month. Nice.
So Weebly exposed their (one of?) monetization method. That’s news.
Next in my inbox I found another scoop. This time from Widgetbox. Those guys didn’t try to imply anything. They simply put the message on the subject: “Widgetbox’s New Blidget Pro: Get on our Homepage!”
That was the second “Pro” I read in less than a few minutes. And the same kind of “Pro” — A for-pay offering from a company I’m used to seeing only free services from. They gave their offering a more designated location on their site. They also offer some for-pay added value for… the same $3.99 of Weebly’s.
So two different companies, in somewhat different segments of the web business, launch their for-pay services on the same day. Is this just a coincidence? Is it a sign of the times? Is it money time?
I guess it is. And I wonder — who’s next to come?